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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

UAE Tour Challenge to give amateur cyclists chance to follow in the footsteps of their favourite riders

New event will see four races across the emirates from February 24-March 2

Amateur cyclists can compete in a four-race series known as the UAE Tour Challenge, starting January 25. Victor Besa / The National
Amateur cyclists can compete in a four-race series known as the UAE Tour Challenge, starting January 25. Victor Besa / The National

The UAE Tour Challenge, a four-race series for amateur riders coinciding with the UCI UAE Tour, is set to draw more than 1,000 cyclists locally and overseas, according to the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.

Previously known as the Abu Dhabi Tour, the event has been renamed the UAE Tour following the merger of the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Tours last March. The newly-named UAE Tour will be held from February 24 to March 2 across the seven emirates.

Aref Al Awani, general secretary of ADSC, said the UAE Tour Challenge will see male and female amateur cyclists contest jerseys for time and points races.

“Amateur cyclists will have a great opportunity to follow in the footsteps of their favourite riders and compete on the same stretches of roads in the UAE Tour Challenge,” he said.

“It’s a new formula developed from the successful staging of the Abu Dhabi Tour Challenge for three years. The last time we had entries from 27 countries and almost all the stages were sold out. It was a big success.”

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The opening leg of the challenge race will be held on Abu Dhabi’s Al Hudayriat Island, the new leisure and entertainment destination which offers two cycle path loops of 5km and 10km. The 16km Individual Time Trial (ITT) is scheduled for January 25.

The second race is slated for February 1 in Al Ain. The course is a tribute to the classic Abu Dhabi Tour “Queen Stage” with the finish line 1,025m above sea level after 11km of climbing, featuring maximum gradients of 11 per cent. There is a choice of two distances: 47km and 67km.

The third race takes place on February 13 in Dubai and the fourth on March 1 in Ras Al Khaimah. Both these courses are to be unveiled soon.

As in the race for the professionals, the amateur racers will compete in three different classifications: by time, points and UAE National category by time.

Each classification leader will wear a special jersey: red for fastest time, green for points and white for UAE national category. The best three men and women of each race will also be awarded best time, special classification, best time of each age category, and best time UAE National category.

The final winners by time, by points and by UAE Nationality classification will be also awarded on March 2, the final day of the UAE Tour, on the stage at Dubai’s City Walk.

Participants can register for all four races of the UAE Tour Challenge at www.theuaetour.com.